I was last in line of the presenters at the EiP conference but the main speaker was Wendy Schratz Head of Direct Sales at Client Care at Egg, who described the ups and downs in the world of Internet banking over the last 12 years with a primary view on how Egg developed and maintained their customer base.
There were lessons to be learned for local government and I think Wendy learned a lot about local government from our converations.
One thing that did come out was the importance of leadership! Egg had obviously had a vision from the beginning, which was made real by enthusiastic leadership. The staff had been chosen around their potential customer skills, which were refined both by training and the work environment.
Egg had also recognised communications as a priority, especially as the first Internet bank and had to design online application forms or e-literature so that the customers could be confident in their trust, whilst providing Egg with sufficient information to minimise risk. One interesting area was that of introducing debt-awareness early on, before people owed too much and being clear about personal recovery routes.
Recent FSA requirments had meant Egg spending six intense months looking back at all their customer communications and constructing a complex scorecard to evidence their examination of their systems but as in the analogy of the dark cloud, the silver lining was that this also provides them an apportunity to review their offerings and re-examine their literature. A comparison may be made with National Indicator 14, in that it is by drilling down from the single score and constructing a horribly complex scorecard, one may be able to shed light upon good and bad process across the range of delivery channels. I know that Purbeck council have provided the ESD-Toolkit with a spreadsheet of a similar nature to the one Wendy demonstrated.
One of the measures that Egg were examining was the Net Promoter Score (NPS) which was the difference between positive and negative feedback, which they checked every six months.
Out of it all, including the the report of ‘village agents’ and ‘community agents’ in Glocestershire by Rosie Callinan was the focus upon the public, my own presentation encouraged citizen engagement will only occur successfully (providing satisfaction) when insight around the citizen and their community is available, and as a result the resulting service to the citizen is focused upon dealing with the citizen’s needs. This would be demonstrated by using co-production to minimize and set the range of gaps, including expectation, and collect dissatisfaction as a measure of the success with the exercise. I hope to develop this all further with EiP and its members…